Economics at your fingertips  

Does SNAP improve your health?

Christian Gregory () and Partha Deb ()

Food Policy, 2015, vol. 50, issue C, 11-19

Abstract: In this study, we examine the effect of SNAP on health quite generally, examining self-assessed health (SAH), healthy time, and basic health utilization measures as outcomes. Our approach is to model outcomes and participation simultaneously, using exogenous variation in state eligibility to identify SNAP participation. We use this approach for both ordered choices (health) and count outcomes (sickdays, office-based visits, outpatient visits), where the former uses maximum likelihood and the latter maximum simulated likelihood. In addition, we control for state-level unobservables that are correlated with both participation and health, which previous studies of this question have neglected. Our results indicate that SNAP has an consistently positive effect on SAH; it significantly increases the probability of reporting excellent or very good health. We also find that SNAP participants spend about 3 fewer days in bed due to illness each year, and report between 1 and 2 fewer office-based doctor visits and a fraction fewer outpatient visits. Supplementary specifications indicate that, although SNAP participants consume fewer office visits overall, they have more checkups than comparable non-participants.

Keywords: Food assistance; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Health status; Self-assessed health; Health utilization; Latent factor approach (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (18) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: Does SNAP Improve Your Health? (2014) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2014.09.010

Access Statistics for this article

Food Policy is currently edited by J. Kydd

More articles in Food Policy from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2023-05-18
Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:50:y:2015:i:c:p:11-19